Linden sets the record straight about the construction of the human brain; rather than the “beautifully-engineered optimized device, the absolute pinnacle of design” portrayed in many dumbed-down text books, pop-science tomes, and education televisions programs, Linden’s organ is a complicated assembly of cobbled-together functionality that created the mind as a by-product of ad-hoc solutions to questions of survival. His guided tour of the glorious amalgam of “crummy parts” includes pit-stops in the histories and fundamentals of neurology, neural-psychology, physiology, molecular and cellular biology, and genetics.
Anselm's Other Argument
A. D. Smith Harvard University Press, 2014 Library of Congress B765.A84S65 2014 | Dewey Decimal 212.1
Some commentators claim that Anselm's writings contain a second independent "modal ontological argument" for God's existence. A. D. Smith contends that although there is a second a priori argument in Anselm, it is not the modal argument. This "other argument" bears a striking resemblance to one that Duns Scotus would later employ.
The interpretation of Anselm of Canterbury’s Proslogion has a long and rich tradition. However, its study is often narrowly focused on its so-called “ontological argument.” As a result, engagement with the text of this work tends to be lopsided, and the prayerful purpose that undergirds the whole book is often completely ignored. Even the most rigorous engagements with the Proslogion often have little to say, for instance, about how the prayers of Proslogion 1, 14, and 18 contribute materially to Anselm’s argument, or how his doctrine of God develops organically from the divine formula in the early chapters to the doctrines of eternity, simplicity, and Trinity in later chapters. There are very few works that offer a sustained analysis to Anselm’s flow of thought throughout the entire Proslogion, and no one has explored how Anselm’s doctrine of creaturely joy in heaven in Proslogion 24-26 is a fitting climax and resolution to the book.
Anselm’s Pursuit of Joy attempts a sustained, chapter-by-chapter textual analysis of the Proslogion, and offers the first effort to situate Anselm’s doctrine of heaven in Proslogion 24-26 as the climax of the earlier themes of Anselm’s work. Gavin Ortlund suggests that the basic purpose of Anselm’s argument in the Proslogion is to seek the visio Dei that he articulates as his soul’s deepest desire (Proslogion 1). While Anselm’s argument for God’s existence (Proslogion 2-4) is an important piece of this effort, it is only one step of a larger trajectory of thought that leads Anselm to meditate further on God’s nature as the highest good of the human soul (Proslogion 5-23), and then to anticipate the joy of possessing God in heaven (Proslogion 24-26). In other words, the establishment of God’s existence is only the penultimate consequence of Anselm’s famous formula “that than which nothing greater can be thought”—his ultimate concern is with the infinite creaturely joy that is entailed by his existence. The Proslogion is, far more than an argument for God’s existence, a meditation on God as the chief happiness of the human soul.
Aquinas: God and Action
David B. Burrell C.S.C. University of Scranton Press, 2008 Library of Congress BT103.T4B87 2008 | Dewey Decimal 231.042
First published 30 years ago and long out of print, Aquinas: God and Action appears here for the first time in paperback. This classic volume by eminent philosopher and theologian David Burrell argues that Aquinas’s is not the god of Greek metaphysics, but a god of both being and activity. Aquinas’s plan in the Summa Theologiae, according to Burrell, is to instruct humans how to find eternal happiness through acts of knowing and loving. Featuring a new foreword by the author, this edition will be welcomed by philosophers and theologians alike.
Gregory T. Doolan provides here the first detailed consideration of the divine ideas as causal principles. He examines Thomas Aquinas's philosophical doctrine of the divine ideas and convincingly argues that it is an essential element of his metaphysics
During his lifetime, Archbishop Oscar Romero chose to live the Christian Gospel in a radical way, defending, supporting, and serving the poor, and confronting the oppressive and murderous violence of the Salvadoran dictatorship. As a result, in March 1980, while celebrating Mass in a small chapel in El Salvador, he was assassinated.
With Archbishop Oscar Romero, Damian Zynda offers a compelling examination of the bishop’s eventful life. Zynda delves into the psychological and spiritual depths of Romero’s faith, tracing its progression from age thirteen up to the episcopacy and his prophetic stand against the government.
For fifteen centuries, legends of King Arthur have enthralled us. Born in the misty past of a Britain under siege, half-remembered events became shrouded in ancient myth and folklore. The resulting tales were told and retold, until over time Arthur, Camelot, Avalon, the Round Table, the Holy Grail, Excalibur, Lancelot, and Guinevere all became instantly recognizable icons. Along the way, Arthur’s life and times were recast in the mold of the hero’s journey: Arthur’s miraculous conception at Tintagel through the magical intercession of his shaman guide, Merlin; the childhood deed of pulling the sword from the stone, through which Arthur was anointed King; the quest for the Holy Grail, the most sacred object in Christendom; the betrayal of Arthur by his wife and champion; and the apocalyptic battle between good and evil ending with Arthur’s journey to the Otherworld.
Touching on all of these classic aspects of the Arthur tale, Christopher R. Fee seeks to understand Arthur in terms of comparative mythology as he explores how the Once and Future King remains relevant in our contemporary world. From ancient legend to Monty Python, Arthur: God and Hero in Avalon discusses everything from the very earliest versions of the King Arthur myth to the most recent film and television adaptations, offering insight into why Arthur remains so popular—a hero whose story still speaks so eloquently to universal human needs and anxieties.